Since the Covid-19 outbreak we have been working with our clients and contractors to help ensure safe working on construction sites is adhered to and compliant with the requirements of Public Health England and the Construction Leadership’s Council’s Standard Operating Procedures.
It is becoming clear that the Health and Safety impact of Covid-19 is going to remain with us until there is a vaccine. We have now incorporated Covid-19 planning into all our core health and safety services. This includes working with design teams to consider the implications of social distancing in terms of both construction and end user, ensuring contractors understand the risks of Covid-19 and working with them to plan their site operations.
We can help you to develop your plans for managing the challenges ahead and provide a monitoring role to ensure those plans are being adhered to.
We can offer you support in five areas:
Covid-19 site risk assessment
Implementation planning for safe on-site working
Advisor to the Principal Designer.
Our risk-based approach facilitates the implementation of robust processes to help manage and mitigate your risk. Our experience in carrying over 30 risk assessments on major projects since the outbreak means we have established what the key recurring risks are and built a bank of workable solutions to mitigate them.
Working with your project teams we assess the unique risks posed on each site, identifying how any shortfalls can be remedied. We then produce a formal risk assessment in line with CDM best practice, which includes Covid-19 considerations combined with your more conventional health and safety risks.
Our approach is pragmatic, and we recognise the need to deal with the practicalities of how a site operates and the challenges around changing the culture when introducing new working practices. We engage with your site teams to develop a phased process for embedding these new practices. This will include how site facilities are used, logistical processes and critically, toolbox talks to help educate those on the site about the risks posed by Covid-19.
Once we have established your baseline, we can help you focus on embedding the new working practices through the regular monitoring of progress. We will regularly report on compliance, providing a clear audit trail. Where we add best value is in engaging with site management teams and individual operatives to bring the reality of Covid-19 to life and facilitate enduring, practical and positive change.
One of the biggest recurring risks we have recently observed on sites is the failure to implement consistent standards of monitoring, either by a client with multiple live projects across their portfolio, or a by contractor with several sites.
Consequently, we are being increasingly appointed as the Covid-19 champion across clients’ sites to ensure risks are managed consistently and productivity improvement ideas are shared effectively.
As your Covid-19 champion we will give you the assurance that all your projects are implementing the same actions and taking the same steps to safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of those on site. We will ensure you receive a consistent level of reporting across your portfolio which will help ensure you more effectively manage risks, save costs and improve productivity.
A core part of our service is focused on supporting the Principal Designer (and the wider design team) in considering the health and safety implications of a project for both construction and operation during the design process. Covid-19 implications are assessed in addition to conventional health and safety risks. Common areas we are focusing on include the specification of ventilation systems, use of materials and their ability to transmit the virus, and construction techniques that support social distancing.
We have found that the health and safety considerations vary significantly depending upon sector, for example a school will have a range of differing challenges to a residential project. We work with our clients to establish the end user activities that will engender risk and develop pragmatic mitigation solutions with the designers that can be either permanent or temporary. This approach will help ensure resilience against subsequent outbreaks.
Ultimately our approach is about protecting lives, which must be the most important consideration. We will also consider how you can improve the bottom line on your project. Over recent months we have built a bank of workable solutions that enable improved productivity on site, for example advancing techniques that support social distancing, including off-site production.
We recognise that the ongoing implications of dealing with Covid-19 recovery can appear daunting and we are offering a free initial consultation to explain what you need to be considering and the practical steps that can be taken to protect people working on your sites and safeguard your obligations as client or contractor under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015.